The Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) allows applicants to accelerate prosecution of their application in one patent office by using positive examination results from another patent office. Specifically, participating patent offices have agreed that when at least one claim is considered to be allowable by a first patent office, the applicant may request fast track examination of the corresponding claim(s) in a corresponding pending patent application at a second patent office. Applicants may therefore benefit from expedited allowance and reduced prosecution costs.
The European Patent Office (EPO) currently participates in the Patent Prosecution Highway with the patent offices of USA, Japan, China and South Korea. Recently, the EPO has announced that from January 2015 it will also participate in the Patent Prosecution Highway with the patent offices of Canada, Mexico and Singapore.
EPO President Benoît Battistelli, stated “These agreements promote our joint efforts to increase the use of patents and improve conditions for innovation. Through this agreement European companies will strongly benefit from simplified access to patent protection in these three dynamic regions. This also means that patent applicants from Europe will now benefit from similar conditions in these markets as their counterparts from USA or Japan. At the same time, for Canadian, Mexican and Singaporean innovators, the agreement opens an efficient route to high-quality patent protection in Europe”.
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